Results 1 to 3 of 3

Thread: Why was the Bush Administration so keen on Indo-US Nuclear deal?

  1. #1
    Elite Member AuGusT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Deported to London
    Posts
    2,331

    Wink Why was the Bush Administration so keen on Indo-US Nuclear deal?

    Why was the Bush Administration so keen to do a deal, and why did opposition melt away so easily?

    Firstly, India is the second fastest growing major economy in the world. According to the CIA its real GDP grew 7.6% in 2005, not far behind China’s 9.3% and over twice America’s 3.5%. It is also, again according to the CIA, the fourth largest economy in the world on a purchasing power parity basis (China comes in a number two) and accounted for 1.1% of world imports. So India, in general, is a large and increasingly attractive market and economic partner.

    The nuclear industry itself is big business and when they talk of ‘nuclear transfer’ they really mean sell. Then there are armaments of many different kinds. India is a major military power, with an appetite to match. In 2005 it was the largest buyer of arms in the developing world with purchases of US$5.4 billion. Russia, to America’s chagrin, was the largest seller to the developing world, and India is its principal market. All this, the administration hopes, will change. According to the BBC, ‘US officials secretly admit they hope the nuclear deal will sweeten the Indian government in talks over a whopping $6bn contract to buy 124 fighter aircraft from America.’
    None of this, of course, will have any relationship with proliferation, because that is what countries like Russia, China, and North Korea do, not the United States. However, it is pertinent to recall that Bill Clinton, in his State of the Union speech in 1999 proclaimed, “We must increase our efforts to restrain the spread of nuclear weapons and missiles, from [North] Korea to India and Pakistan.” The past is very much a different country.

    But this is all about much more than money, though that is an important part of it. The US-India strategic relationship – and that’s what they are calling it - gives the US leverage over India in so many ways, or so it is hoped in Washington, and feared in Delhi. The Communist Party of India, a junior partner in Singh’s coalition government, has warned that , ‘the strategic relationship only means that India will be part of the US strategies of global policing and undermine its role in international politics and its resolve to promote multilateralism in international relations.’ United Progressive Alliance Chairperson Sonia Gandhi said that the UPA, and the Congress party, would not accept anything outside the original agreement of 18 July 2005. One huge danger, which for obvious reasons is seldom articulated in public, is that India will become embroiled in America’s anti-Islamic crusade. India has, in the past, refused to send troops to Iraq, and that particular request is unlikely to surface again, because Indian troops going in would be passing American troops coming out, but as the relationship deepens, similar requests might be more difficult to reject. 13.4% of India’s population is Muslim and inter-communal violence, and terrorism, is a constant concern.

    At the moment it is unlikely that Washington is too anxious to deploy Indian troops, thought what may happen in the future is another matter; after all the British empire was sustained to quite a large degree by Indian forces, including in Iraq in an earlier invasion. The US is after other things. Support against Iran, for one.

    India has traditionally had good relations with Iran (it is a natural counterbalance to Pakistan). There are plans, discussed for a number of years, for a natural gas pipeline from Iran to India via Pakistan. The thought must produce palpitations in certain breasts in Washington; not merely would it provide revenue for Iran (and Pakistan), and give India (and Pakistan) a degree of energy security, away from the immediate attention of the US navy, but it would tie the three countries together in mutual benefit. Not the sort of scenario that would appeal to imperial planners whose basic strategy is divide and rule.

    However for America, the real, and major, strategic target of the US-India relationship is China. How that will be implemented, and how successful it will be, is another matter. China has military, economic and diplomatic cards to play. India came off badly when it picked a fight with China in 1962. China overtook the US a couple of years ago as the major supplier to the Indian market. President Hu Jintao has just concluded a visit to South Asia where he appears to have pulled off quite an achievement in developing a better relationship with India without annoying Pakistan, something that Bush has not been able to do. So the contest for India’s favour is by no means a forgone conclusion.

    In addition, China (presumably with Russian approval) implemented a significant strategic counter-offensive in June 2006 by inviting India (along with Iran, Pakistan, and Mongolia) to become full members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO). This invitation reversed China's position, stated as recently as January, that India and the other countries would have to be content with observer status. The SCO, formed in 2001 to check U.S. influence in Central Asia, may well expand to counterbalance a similarly expanding NATO. So the contest for India's favor is by no means a forgone conclusion.

    Moreover, India has its own games to play and is no mere cat's paw of other powers. Apart from its perennial contest with Pakistan, it seeks a dominant position in South Asia with its interventions in East Pakistan/Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, and expansion of influence in the Himalayan states. It has also sought a degree of primacy in the Indian Ocean and adjacent Southeast Asia. In short, India is looking to establish a role commensurate with its importance on the world stage.

    Nevertheless, there is a natural overlap between the strategic interests of India and America in respect of China. Any increase in India’s ability to project military power in Asia would probably be viewed favourably in Washington. The US-India agreements allow for closer cooperation in defense and in areas such as satellites and space exploration. It is not clear to what degree the US will help India develop its nuclear missile capability, and it will certainly not be made public. It is not the sort of thing that the fine words of the New Framework for the US-India Defense Relationship of June 2005 mention. A test in July of India’s Agni III missile, which has a design range of 3,500 kms, was not very successful, and it only reached 1000 kms. Another test is scheduled for 2007 and this time it is claimed that a special steel will increase its design range between 15-30 per cent. The distance between Delhi and Beijing is 3,800 kms so the improved Agni III, if successful, will bring all of China within range. How much help are Indian scientists getting from their new friends? We don’t know, but it is interesting to note that one area of missile cooperation the New Framework did specifically mention was ‘missile defense’. On November 27 India claimed to have successfully tested an anti-missile test, intercepting one (nuclear-capable) Prithvi with another.

    There are all sorts of ramifications to this developing US-India friendship. It impacts, for instance, on America’s relationship with Pakistan, and the US needs Pakistan in its increasingly difficulty struggle to control Afghanistan. However, this willingness to accept risk elsewhere indicates just how central is the containment of China to US strategic policy.

    Using India to Keep China at Bay



    Tim Beal teaches at Victoria University of Wellington. He is the author of ‘North Korea: The Struggle Against American Power’ (Pluto Press, London and Ann Arbor) and is currently working on a study of the impact of China and India on international political economy. His personal site is at http://www.vuw.ac.nz/~caplabtb/beal.html


    Source: http://www.vuw.ac.nz/~caplabtb/Beal_...na_India3b.doc
    Foreign Policy In Focus | Using India to Keep China at Bay

  2. #2
    Elite Member JamieElizabeth's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    San Jose, California, United States
    Posts
    2,895

    Default

    Great article, August!

    Can't help myself, though I've never heard such terminology. "The thought must produce palpitations in certain breasts in Washington; not merely would it provide revenue for Iran."

  3. #3
    Elite Member AuGusT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Deported to London
    Posts
    2,331

    Default


Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Bush confronts immigration deal skeptics
    By nwgirl in forum U.S. Politics and Issues
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: May 31st, 2007, 07:06 PM
  2. Bush administration debating cutting troops in Iraq for '08 elections
    By Born In A Brothel in forum U.S. Politics and Issues
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: May 27th, 2007, 12:47 AM
  3. Bush administration: Grand Canyon created by Noah's flood
    By SVZ in forum U.S. Politics and Issues
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: January 17th, 2007, 08:30 PM
  4. Congress says only Bush can stop port deal
    By Grimmlok in forum U.S. Politics and Issues
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: March 2nd, 2006, 11:41 AM
  5. Replies: 0
    Last Post: October 20th, 2005, 12:30 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •